Skip to content

Comparative phylogenetic methods and the cultural evolution of medicinal plant use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-761
Number of pages8
JournalNature Plants
Volume4
Early online date10 Sep 2018
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sep 2018
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2018

Abstract

Human life depends on plant biodiversity and the ways in which plants are used are culturally determined. Whilst anthropologists have used phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) to gain an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the evolution of political, religious, social, and material culture, plant use has been almost entirely neglected. Medicinal plants are of special interest because of their role in maintaining people’s health across the world. PCMs in particular, and cultural evolutionary theory in general, provide a framework in which to study the diversity of medicinal plant applications cross-culturally, and to infer changes in plant use through time. These methods can be applied to single medicinal plants as well as the entire set of plants used by a culture for medicine, and they account for the non-independence of data when testing for floristic, cultural or other drivers of plant use. With cultural, biological, and linguistic diversity under threat, gaining a deeper and broader understanding of the variation of medicinal plant use through time and space is pressing.

    Research areas

  • ethnobotany, Phylogenetic comparative methods, cultural evolution, traditional knowledge, medicinal plants

Download statistics

No data available

Documents

Documents

  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Springer Nature at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0226-6 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 339 KB, PDF document

DOI

View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups